Tuesday, September 05, 2006

All Bush Can Offer Is More Fearmongering

In the 2006 election, the only thing Bush has to sell is fear itself. He certainly can't sell his record. The fiasco in Iraq, the corruption in Washington and the sheer incompetence and indifference in the wake of Hurricane Katrina shown by a Republican Congress and President Bush show they have little to offer these days. Bush and his friends would like nothing more than for Americans to forget their record. So Americans can expect some fearmongering in weeks to come.

Now it is a fact that terrorism is real and needs to be dealt with but Bush's fearmongering makes it easy to forget some simple facts. In 2001, it is true that a little more than 3,000 Americans were killed in a terrible attack. But in that same year, 4 million babies were born. In fact, on 9/11, the day of attack, the same day that some 3,000 Americans died, more than 11,000 babies were born. In the last five years, more than 20 million American children have been born. They deserve more than fear. And their parents deserve the truth; they deserve competence; they deserve people in government who are concerned about getting the future right.

We need a government that listens to people rather than playing on their fears. Eleanor Clift of Newsweek reminds us of the statistics:
Some 63 percent of Americans oppose the Iraq war, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, and they deserve better from their president than a calculated verbal assault that calls them appeasers and Fascist sympathizers. This is a new low for Bush, but not surprising given his family history. The Bushes, father and son, traditionally run viciously negative campaigns to win elections. With polls showing the Democrats poised to win control of the House and possibly the Senate, the Bushies are ramping up the rhetoric to smear the opposition.

Bush apparatchiks are good at the politics of destruction....

The politics of destruction. We need to return not just to the politics of hope but the politics of common sense. Some of Bush's friends are already talking about a third war as if Iraq and Afghanistan were finished or winding down. Instead of a third war, we need a president who can finish his first war, in Afghanistan, which he left undone to go off to fight a war we didn't need in the first place. Here's more from Eleanor Clift:
...The tough language could get out the conservative vote in November, and it’s also laying the groundwork for a possible attack on Iran. The same people who beat the war drums for invading Iraq are now leading the way within the administration and in the media for a preemptive strike in Iran. Crazy as it sounds with U.S. troops mired in Iraq, it could happen...

(snip)

Whether the administration and its allies are serious or bluffing, who knows? But it feels like we’ve been down this road before. Getting even weak sanctions through the U.N. Security Council will be hard, and Bush has no patience for diplomatic dithering. The temptation to bomb will be there despite what we should have learned about the limitations of air power in Israel’s misguided assault on Hizbullah. There’s no way to hit all the sites in Iran even if we had good intelligence. Bombing would do little real damage of the nuclear infrastructure while inflicting a huge number of civilian casualties. The blowback would be enormous with everything from attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf to terrorist assaults in America.

Even a good bluff requires that you have some knowledge of what the other side is likely to do. So far, Bush's foreign policy record suggests he and his advisers are seldom right about anything and the bigger the stakes, the more often events have proved them wrong.

Americans gave in to the fearmongering in 2002 and 2004 and they may do it again; or Americans may decide it's time to reel in a reckless president and start returning our country to some semblance of foreign policy sanity, and some semblance of competence at home. Courage, not fear, has been the real source of America's strength in the last 230 years. I'm unable to understand it, but that's something that Bush and his friends would like Americans to forget.

2 Comments:

Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

It's a new twist on an old Roosevelt theme:

The only thing we (Republicans) have to fear is not enough fear itself.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

Every time we look around, Bush is the anti-Roosevelt.

I like the way you phrase it by the way.

1:58 AM  

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